In light of several discussions going on at NCRonline.org -- such as here, here, and here -- the comments today of Pope Benedict XVI to a group of bishops from northeast Brazil who had just completed their "ad limina" visit, seemed especially relevant.
He tells the bishops not to see the shortage of priests as "a normal state of affairs," and warns against "the 'clericalisation' of the laity."
"The lay faithful" must be active "in real life," he says, "while priests must distance themselves from politics."
It seems to me that this is call to separate the sacred and the secular. Is that possible? Is it desirable?
Here's the report from the Vatican Information Service: